Trying Not To Be Bleake

Old roundup.

I haven’t given much airtime to Mike Leake this season and I’ll admit, I expected Mike’s pipes to Leake a bit as he faced the Dodgers Wednesday night, but he dazzled with a line of 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks.  He’s now sporting a low 1.91 ERA despite a 3.78 SIERA and 3.47 xFIP. Maybe he’s really good at surpressing HRs? He holds a 8.5% HR/FB rate this year after holding a 13.0%+ every season in his career except one where he had a 11.5% in 2013. Oh, and then there’s his .236 BABIP despite being a heavy groundball pitcher who is inducing 17.2% soft contact (average, but it doesn’t speak to an elite BABIP inducer) and an 85.6% LOB rate that is far from sustainable. So let’s say this regresses to around a 3.60 ERA arm. Well, then you’re left with his 6.16 K/9 that has given you 4.5 Ks per start, but that has required a near 7 IPS to render that kind of production. With a worse ERA comes shorter starts and we’re left with about 4 Ks per start. That’s not good and a bit risky on a given night as a start that doesn’t go his way will given you little to salvage. So what, drop Leake? Ha, definitely not. Ride this one out for all it’s worth. All I’m saying is don’t fall in love with him, listen to offers, and don’t wait too long to call the plumber when it starts dripping.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Sonny Gray – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. With Gray coming back from the DL, I’ve been saying the main thing to look at is his breaking ball usage. It was the biggest problem last year and he needs to get the feel back for him to be a solid arm for your squad. Well, last night he threw his Slider – which has a 23.8% whiff rate – nearly 30% of the time after hovering around 7% across his three previous starts. That’s a great sign. He threw the breaker a ton and it worked in his favor. I’m not sure this will stick, though, as he featured the pitch mostly out of the zone and still struggles throwing the pitch for a strike. Gray did a great job of getting ahead with his other pitches yesterday, but if that crumbles, so does the rest of it. I’m cautiously optimistic here, not enough for me to send out plenty of offers.

Luis Severino – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. And Severino is still a beast. I wonder if we’ll be considering him Top 20 entering 2018…Ground ball rate is above 50%, near 10 K/9 with a 2.29 BB/9, FIP at 3.29, xFIP 2.94. Fantastic.

Tyler Chatwood – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. I’ve been rolling with the Rockies staff all week as they face the Phillies and let’s be honest, they are good outside of Coors against bottom third offenses. Don’t let this be more than it is. Streamer Record 22.5-16-7.

Tanner Roark – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. After a week or two of me putting down Roark, of course he’s going to go out and have his best start of the season. Funny part is that even with a 8/0 K per BB, Roark still has a meh 7.71 K/9 and blegh 3.24 BB/9. Just sayin’. Hard contact is still great at 27.6%, too bad it doesn’t come with the elite soft contact he had last year (around 24%) as it sits currently at a pedestrian 16.1% mark.

Kyle Hendricks – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. The first few starts were terrible for Hendricks, but his last six have been great – 1.96 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 6.0+ IPS, 5 Ks per start, and 23.3% soft contact. However, he’s needed an 86.6% LOB Rate and .250 BABIP to get there while his SIERA sits at 4.09 as well. I think I’m still selling here.

Charlie Morton – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Considering he allowed 4 ER twice in a row to solid offenses, I think this is the first test Morton has properly passed as he did great things against the Tigers. The main concern has been how Morton performs the 2nd and third times through a lineup and seeing seven frames is fantastic. It was just the fourth time in 10 starts that he’s pitched at least six frames – ouch – and his walk rate has risen to 3.59 – that’s bad – BUT he’s sporting a 3.42 xFIP and 10.14 K/9 as well with a 51.3% groundball rate. The best news here is that he gets the Twins, Rangers, Angels, Rangers, Athletics across his next five games and I think you have to own him through all of it.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. There were a trio of unearned runs here as well, but that doesn’t really matter and you should be very pleased with this if you still trust Teheran. I don’t.

Daniel Norris – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Norris gave us an outing I was expecting to see a bunch of during the preseason, problem is that it took until May for us to get it. Velocity still isn’t what it was and I’m not buying he’s turned the corner.

Jose Berrios – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Boy did Berrios look good through this start. His seventh inning contained a pair of solo shots against the Orioles as this could have been six frames of 1 run ball, but whatever. His breaking ball is as gorgeous as they come and his Fastball command is better than what we saw last year. Get pumped.

Chris Sale – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Wait, Sale didn’t collect double-digit strikeouts?! WHAT DO I EVEN PAY YOU FOR.

Trevor Bauer – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is…fine. I’d be happy with this if I ran with Bauer, I find it hard to really have much in faith in him though. Now, it would be remiss to not mention his 10.62 K/9 and 3.44 xFIP, but a 4.61 FIP, 3.24 BB/9 and 5.56 IPS aren’t doing any favors. You might also point to his .328 BABIP (and of course 22.4% HR/FB, yikes!), but then there’s also a 36.7% hard contact with just 13.7% soft. I’m not buying here.

Jason Hammel – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Hammel has had just two starts under 3 ER all season and his BB/9 is at 3.66 with a 4.77 FIP and 5.32 xFIP. No thanks.

Martin Perez – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh, whatever Perez.

Robert Gsellman – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. We’re at the point that we’ll take a PQS from Gsellman and that makes me all kinds of sad.

Marcus Stroman – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh come on Stroman, aren’t we over the whole “I’m going through a phase” attitude? I have to dock you for this. You give me no choice.

Rich Hill – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks. Seven walks? SEVEN WALKS?! Why are we still owning Hill?

Matt Moore – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. And this is why you dropped Moore a few weeks ago.

Lisalverto Bonilla – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. Bonilla’s stuff isn’t as bad as this looks, but boy is it raw right now. No reason to chase it while it’s looking like McNuggets before they are processed.

Chris Tillman – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. GUESS WHAT. You can’t spell Win with Tillman. In all seriousness, I still think there’s ROS value in Tillman for a 12-teamer, just one as a Toby and not someone you’re excited about owning.

Jarred Cosart – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Welcome to the portion of the Roundup where I effectively toss pitchers aside like they are junk mail. First up is Jarred. Why would I get Cosart when I already love my subscription to Berrios? Why are you making me pay for a landline phone?!

Randall Delgado – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. He can throw hard. He can’t pitch hard, know what I mean? No, I don’t. Oh. Delgado isn’t a guy you can depend on locating well enough to be a consistent asset. Ah.

Erasmo Ramirez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I don’t trust this whatsoever.

Ricky Nolasco – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I trust this completely.

Sam Gaviglio – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Nothing like one strikeout over six frames, right? Four unearned runs as well in this one did him no favors, but this looks like a Grave Mistake where you think Sam is crossing his fingers as you shake hands.

Edinson Volquez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. A PQS for Volquez? Sure, that’s cool.

Trevor Williams – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. I feel bad for Trevor. He’ll never be close to having the same success as his sisters.

Matt Garza – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. As expected, Garza is back to making owners feel like this.

Jose Quintana – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Look at that K/BB! In seriousness, I was really hoping Quintana had taken a step forward after his great start in Seattle and this a huge damper. The Dbacks are tough, but come on Quintana…Next is Boston and that’s huge pile of NOPE.

Jeremy Hellickson – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. If you listened to the podcast, we talked about how low Hellickson’s combined K/9 and BB/9 numbers were. They were 5.26 combined entering this start. Now that’s up to 5.78. What are you chasing for with Hellickson? Seriously?

Today’s Streamer

Mike Clevinger vs. Cincinnati RedsHe’s still owned in under 10% of leagues and will get at least one more turn in the rotation. Let’s do this.

Tyler Anderson vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I’m doubling-down today as I love Anderson’s last three starts + the Phils are just not a good offense. Yes this the fourth Rockies starter vs the Phils in a row, but I really don’t care as they have all done well.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zack Godley vs. Milwaukee Brewers Even with his struggles against the Brewers last time out, I think this start is worth your while.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

JC Ramirez vs Miami Marlins – He’s pitching well and the fish don’t scare me. I’d also consider Scott Feldman against the Phils if you need to chase a cheap win over the weekend.

Game of the Day

Masahiro Tanaka vs. Kansas City Royals – I have a feeling this is going to go well for Tanaka…

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

18 responses to “Trying Not To Be Bleake”

  1. David says:

    I had finally decided to drop Norris and he uncorked a “good” start. Didn’t know the velo was still down, I do like that he seems to understand the mechanical issues he has in post-game interviews. Now I’m all torn up, Nick!

  2. chrish011 says:

    Still hurt I dropped Lance Lynn for Pomz. Felt like Morton could’ve gotten the axe. Gotta love that schedule though! But seriously, ROS, is Lynn better than Morton? Either way, I held onto that bum Nate Karns. He definitely could’ve gotten the boot. Kluber, Fulmer, Manaea, Eduardo Rodriguez, Pomz, Karns, and Edwin and Holland, I think I’m good though. Drop anyone for Joe Ross or Koda Glover?

  3. Alex H says:

    So is it really time to give up on Hill? He’s apparently healthy and no blister issues last night. Can’t stop thinking of those beautiful curves he is capable of, it’s so hard to let go…

    But there’s guys on the wire in my 12-team H2H points league like Manaea, Lackey, Pomeranz and Joe Ross. Should I be scooping one of those guys up instead?

  4. Charles Leroy says:

    Hey Nick, I know it’s only 3 starts, but I am PUMPED about Berrios. Does he move up the Pitcher’s List again come Monday? If so, about where? Finally, what do you see as his ceiling in a keeper league, dare I say ace-like potential? Thanks for all of the good work!

  5. cbd says:

    would you trade away hendricks/ross for nola/todd frazier?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m not much of a fan of Todd Frazier, but I like the idea of the trade. I’d try to get a different bat and pull the trigger.

  6. Jon Mosier says:

    Garza’s always-entertaining screaming gif is missing.

  7. eugene purdy says:

    I believe we still own Hill because the last time he pitched (5/16) he gave up 1 ER, 0BBs and 6Ks. I believe your advice the next day was,”keep starting him until his blister realizes it has all the power in this relationship.” That said, 7 walks is ridiculous but I will give him that one,

    • eugene purdy says:

      By the way, I love this website and the advice/opinions are very good. I just thought it was funny how quickly the tone changed on Hill.

      • Nick Pollack says:

        All good!

        Yeah, I should have gone into more detail there. The thinking is this: We were holding onto him through thick-and-thin because when Hill did pitch, he essentially was an ace last year. If he’s going to give us seven walks – seven walks! – when he finally does pitch, the reward just isn’t good enough to endure everything else.

  8. Mike says:

    according to fangraphs Daniel Norris velocity is basically the same as last year. Where are you seeing a huge difference?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m referring to the jump we saw in September that made us (read: me) excited about the prospects of 2017.

      This year, we haven’t seen that same jump and as you’ve said, it’s back to its normal levels. Bummer.

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